Our world is going through one of the worst crises we have ever experienced. Already more than 400,000 people globally, including many healthcare personnel, have died from coronavirus. Our thoughts go first and foremost to them all and their families and friends.
This crisis and the response to it has had an enormous impact on the lives and the fundamental rights of people. It has caused tens of millions of people to lose their jobs and to face a situation of economic uncertainty and suffering. It has shown us the crucial need for well-funded health and social care services, a resilient and sustainable economy, strong welfare states and resilient communities. We express our deepest gratitude to all the workers and volunteers in essential fields whose efforts and courage have allowed our societies to keep on functioning during these difficult times. We demand an improvement of working conditions and salaries especially for health and social care workers.
Although we remain preoccupied by the current crisis and the need to avoid a second wave of infections, we also believe that it is essential to prepare for the ‘day after’. We must make our societies and economies more resilient to these and other shocks, as well as trying to prevent them.
As Greens, we believe the only way to recover from this crisis is through action at the European and global scale. We cannot face the current challenges by falling back on nationalist egoisms.
Therefore, we deeply regret the lack of European solidarity we witnessed at the beginning of the pandemic which caused many citizens to lose trust in the EU, especially in the countries most affected by the coronavirus. In those countries, instead, trust was directed to other international partners who were quick about sending support, but often with the aim to weaken the EU.
As time passed, EU institutions and Member States came together to show ambition in working on a common strategy to recover from the crisis, striving for solidarity-based solutions.
As European Greens, however, we believe further commitments and proposals must now be put forward. It is time for Europe to show true leadership in proposing a new paradigm that has at its centre the protection of people and the planet, rather than markets, multinationals and wealthy individuals. Europe must lead the way in shaping globalisation around environmental, social and fiscal justice. Europe must also show leadership in global solidarity. The EU must begin within its own borders, and also make recovery funds available for its candidate members and neighbouring countries. The EU and European countries must support humanitarian aid, medical support and debt relief for poorer countries facing the disastrous consequences of the pandemic.
Healthcare and other public services must be viewed as commons that we need to protect and fund adequately. Neoliberal recipes which rely on cutting public spending and on the functioning of markets to deliver sufficient healthcare, have obviously failed. Member States need to guarantee universal healthcare coverage and accessibility to healthcare facilities to everyone. To achieve this, they must allocate adequate resources and stop viewing public services as items of expenditure to be cut whenever budgets are tight. The suspension of the Stability Pact by the EU commission is a positive and timely action, but we demand that it will be effectively prolonged at least until the economic effects of this crisis have passed. We also support general reform of the Stability Pact in line with the SDGs. Moreover, public consultations should be consistently carried out to ensure the openness and inclusiveness of budgetary decision-making.
This crisis has made evident the need to reduce our dependency on importing pharmaceutical and medical products and to relocalise parts of these economic sectors in Europe. At the same time, the crisis has also made clear the importance of global cooperation within the framework of international institutions such as the World Health Organization, especially in view of developing shared responses and coordinating research for treatments and vaccines.
The EU must strive to make vaccines and treatments available and affordable for all. Now is the time to change the current model to one based on open science, where pharmaceutical products are not made more costly by patent licensing and non-transparent research and development costs. Member States should issue compulsory licenses and the EU must authorise the import of medicines produced abroad under compulsory licenses.
The vaccine/s (and/or a definitive drug treatment) must have the consideration of a Global Public Good. And the European institutions should have a steering role for this unique challenge. Therefore, the EU should adopt a Mission approach, where the public sector leads and coordinates R&D efforts, fills the knowledge gaps, promotes funding based on specific requirements, and aligns public and private initiatives. Additionally, to provide a massive and fast production of the vaccine/s once approved, production capacities must be anticipated from now on to have a sufficient manufacturing scale. And to guarantee its world-wide accessibility and affordability, EU and member states diplomacies should contribute in the global governance to establish mechanisms to assure equity and justice criteria to its pricing and distribution.
To increase crisis emergency preparedness and better coordinate responses, we must strengthen the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The rescEU programme for stockpiling medical materials must be expanded to include more medical and crisis-related supplies. Moreover, we must enhance prevention mechanisms by adequately financing the relevant EU agencies and making sure Member States strengthen their cooperation and exchange of information and expertise in this field.
The European Commission should strengthen the European Medical Corps that is able to deploy doctors and nurses specifically trained for various kinds of emergencies in all EU hospitals. The EU should ensure all the means in place to deal with a pandemic crisis, apply a prevention approach and improve early warning systems and epidemiological information exchange to protect the health of the EU citizens.
In general, EU research programmes, as well as tools for better communication and exchange of information and best practices, particularly in essential sectors, must be fostered and further financed. Nevertheless, some key progress has to be developed and permanently financed following aims of the European Pillar of Social Rights for the coordination of economic policies across the EU with efficiency, to provide information, analysis on the situation of persons with and without disabilities, elderly people, orphans, young migrants in the Member States.
Furthermore, we believe that it is particularly vital that all public health responses to the pandemic and its consequences place mental health on an equal footing to physical health. Member states should take measures to make psychological care freeand accessible for all, including during lockdown measures. Moreover, European countries should adopt measures to encourage a healthy lifestyle and to address health inequalities and disparities in health outcomes.
A GREEN AND JUST RECOVERY
The recovery from this crisis has already resulted in enormous expenditure, from both the Member States and the EU, which would have been unthinkable a few months ago. The austerity dogma has proved inadequate in responding to such a crisis. On the contrary, safety nets provided by well-funded welfare states, have been essential to guarantee an income and a social safety net to the many who have lost their jobs during the crisis.
Now is the time to shift to a new paradigm whereby the economy and finances are put in the service of society and the protection of our commons, and not vice versa. We owe it to future generations that the huge expenditures in public finances are an investment in a green and just transition that will make Europe more resilient and stronger in the face of future emergencies, while ensuring future generations do not suffer from the burden.
Fair and ambitious financing
The crisis has been global in affecting everyone, but the consequences are felt most by those already struggling with austerity measures and cuts in public services. This crisis is not the "great equalizer" on the contrary, it deepens the inequalities that already existed in the system. Member States have very different resources available to allocate to stimulus plans, state aid and other measures to mitigate the economic consequences. This is why the EU must guarantee that the recovery is fair and that the financial burden to save European lives, jobs and economic systems is shared among the Member States and no country left behind.
The pandemic-related ECB bond-buying programme is a positive and legitimate tool for funding the recovery. However, it is clear that the European common monetary policy alone will not be sufficient to tackle the consequences of the crisis or address the increasingly evident inequalities between European economies.
This is why, as Greens, we welcome the proposal by the European Commission as an important step towards a European economic recovery plan founded on solidarity. It is a historic breakthrough for European solidarity that mutualized debt is on the table.
However, the Commission and the Member States must boost the Recovery package further by increasing it toat least 5 trillion euros over the next 12years andby no means under the level proposed by the European Parliament. The Commission and Member States must further step up their political ambition for a real solidarity-based common fiscal policy, notably by increasing the contributions to the EU’s long-term budget (MFF). In order to achieve this, the EU needs to collect its own resources through European taxation, such as the carbon border adjustment, plastic, packaging, digital and kerosene taxes as well as contributions from multinationals, particularly those in the digital and financial sectors (e.g. the Financial Transaction Tax). Coronabonds offer the possibility to prevent severe budgetary crisis for the most effected states and ensure stability of the entire Eurozone.
While funds must not be conditioned in any way on austerity measures, we demand that they must be clearly linked to Paris Agreement objectives and the Green Deal as well as linked to full respect for the rule of law and gender impact assessments and that democratic control from the EU Parliament on the planning and spending of the available resources is ensured throughout the process.
As Greens, we strive for a strong and modern budget to fight the climate crisis and inequalities and at the same time stop using the EU budget for military-related spending.
A resilient economy
Make no mistake: only if these massive resources for the recovery plan are used to protect people and the planet will we be able to re-emerge from this crisis stronger than before and with the ability to mitigate its long-term socio-economic consequences.
Therefore, the EU recovery plan must act as a powerful driver towards a socially resilient and climate-neutral economic system. The EU must enable a European industrial policy with the Green Deal at its core, moving investments from a fossil-dependent and overproducing system to a climate-neutral circular economy that reduces energy and resource consumption and promotes sustainable standards while using innovation to achieve transformation and promoting consumer protection; financing the energy transition as well as innovations and technologies making production more sustainable; and unleashing the enormous potential for the creation of green and quality jobs in these sectors. Trainings need to be developed to promote jobs with environmental and social value. Relocation of production and shortening of supply chains should be considered, especially in essential sectors such as food, health and pharmaceutical production.
Specific plans have to be put in place for the recovery of sectors heavily affected by the crisis, such as culture and hospitality. The care economy, which has proven to be the core pillar of our welfare systems, also needs more and better support. Social entrepreneurship, stemming from experiences and solidarity initiatives developed during the pandemic, should be encouraged and supported.
As for tourism,investments are required at the national and European level to compensate for the loss of jobs and income, first and foremost in territories heavily dependent on tourism, like islands or coastal areas, in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. At the same time, the entire tourism industry must evolve from its current mass and low-cost model to a new sustainable and quality one. respecting biodiversity and protected areas. Tourism in and between Member States should be encouraged as opposed to intercontinental travels as the proximity ensures less CO2 emissions and a better understanding of each other. Travelling by train and buses must be promoted as opposed to that by plane through taxation policy. This will require a change of paradigm and the definition of a roadmap for achieving European sustainable tourismbased on new cooperative business models as well as on the circular economy and local culture and products aiming to involve local communities more and ensuring that most of the added-value created remains in the local territories.
Furthermore, we call on the European Commission to ensure that Member States agree to a common framework for public investment that would privilege the direct financial support of SMEs and other stakeholders most affected by the crisis. They should make sure that financial support is only given to companies that do not use tax avoidance schemes, notably by basing their activities in tax havens, and that provide a transparent overview of all their profits and taxes by country-by-country reporting. To access funding, companies should commit to not resorting to lay-offs except in cases where they can show they are absolutely crucial to the survival of the business, capping their CEOs’ salaries, and creating quality jobs in the future. Bailed-out companies must not have paid dividends or bonuses during the pandemic in Europe and must commit not to do so until the economic effects of the crisis are over. The fight against tax evasion and in favour of fiscal solidarity within the European Union will be key to ensure the re-distributional benefits that fair taxation creates. This requires tackling tax avoidance schemes and tax dumping by adopting the necessary legislations and putting an end to the unanimity rule in tax matters.
Building green resilience
This crisis has not only revealed the direct link between the human encroachment on wildlife habitats and the transmission of deadly viruses from animals to humans, but also that air pollution is enhancing the mortality rate of the virus. Moreover, we know that the consequences of climate change and the dramatic loss of biodiversity we are witnessing are responsible for other major crises which we are and will continue to face at the global level.
However, as Greens, we believe it is still possible to reverse this trend and to mitigate the impacts of these crises. However, to do so, the EU must take the lead in the fight against climate change and adopt an ambitious Climate Law which enshrines the goal of reducing its economy-wide emissions by at least 65% by 2030 and reaching climate-neutrality as early as 2040. The European Green Deal must enable the energy transition to 100% renewables and the phasing out of coal by 2030 and other fossil fuels as soon as possible thereafter without relying on unsustainable options like nuclear power.
To achieve these goals, the recovery package has to be a driving force towards a real transition to a more resilient and sustainable economic model.
In that regard, we demand that big companies receiving public financial support must provide plans for aligning their economic activities with the aim of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Strict green conditionalities must be applied, especially in the case of bailouts for companies in carbon-intensive sectors. The aviation sector should not be bailed out. We will nevertheless make sure that the employees of these companies are a part of just transition programs.
The Commission should ensure that the recovery package clearly excludes either direct or indirect support to the nuclear and fossil-fuel industries.
In the framework of the recovery strategy, major investments are required to massively reduce environmental pollution and energy consumption, and to strongly promote clean energy. Incentives for investment in renewable energies need support alongside an ambitious strategy for building renovation which will create new employment, stimulate local economies and increase energy efficiency.
The EU and its Member States must invest in environmentally friendly transport. The current financial support for (air) transport sector should be tied to sustainability requirements and proper taxation on air transport must be developed. Furthermore, we should work towards a well-functioning European train network, including night trains and improving accessibility criteria (Accessibility Act revision) and phase out all short and median haul flights where rail links exist or should be developed and promoted. We should keep on supporting our public transport network and the cycling and pedestrian infrastructure that many cities have created to promote physical distancing should be expanded and become permanent.
Finally, the EU biodiversity strategy must ensure the EU leads the fight for the restoration of biodiversity and natural habitats through the adoption of ambitious binding targets and their promotion at the global leveland stop financial support of unsustainable big infrastructure projects. Furthermore, the lessons from this pandemic should accelerate the adoption of a zero-pollution action plan for air, water and soil, and an ambitious chemicals strategy for sustainability.
Towards a real Social Europe
The EU and its Member States have to do whatever it takes to make sure the social impacts of this crisis are reduced to a minimum and that no one is left behind. Unemployment is rising and will only get worse in the upcoming months and years. In addition to the financial stimulus, the EU and its Member States must guarantee further social policies to protect their citizens, in particular younger workers, whose rights were already weakened by austerity policies and the 2008 financial crisis. We must ensure that every employee has the right to enjoy fair working conditions, regardless of the type and duration of their contract.
We welcome the adoption of the SURE plan, although the Commission should go further and adopt a permanent reinsurance unemployment scheme, which also includes self-employed workers. Gig-workers, whose work has been crucial to provide essential services during the pandemic, should be provided with the same social protections as other workers. Internships must not be abused in periods of crisis as it has been the case in several countries and all unpaid internships must be prohibited across Europe. Moreover, the Youth Guarantee should be boosted and improved to ensure a primary goal of quality youth employment and made compulsory in all Member States.
We strongly stand behind our proposal for a minimum income directive, more necessary than ever to guarantee that inequality between different parts of Europe does not grow further with the crisis. We have seen several interesting experiments with Emergency basic income during the last months of the pandemic. That is why we believe Emergency basic income schemes should be implemented to provide income particularly for those workers who will have to transition into different professional fields, due to the pandemic. We also advocate for national experiments on Universal Basic Incomeand we call for working-time reduction schemes and a 32-hour work week to be promoted in order to redistribute work among more people, as well as to promote a healthy work-life balance. Compulsory paid sick leave all over Europe must, of course, remain a key priority.
The crisis has also put the migration status of many people at risk due to administrative delays: no migrant should suffer penalties as a result.The EU should guarantee the rights of all migrant workers, often undocumented migrants at any given time. Their work has proven more than ever to be essential for the stability of our societies during the pandemic, especially in the private care and agricultural sectors. We call for the non-discriminatory regularisation of these workers and their inclusion, as well as those of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, in our healthcare system.
The EU must ensure that refugees living in camps, especially on the Greek islands, are brought to safe places in the EU as soon as possible and Member states and regions must take initiative and apply programs for receiving asylum-seekers. The Commission also needs to ensure that Member States respect their international obligations, do not close their harbours to rescue ships like Italy and Malta did and fully implement the right to asylum.Pushbacks are illegal and unacceptable.
Women on the front lines
The gender dimension of this crisis has to be addressed: women, whose competences are undervalued and therefore underpaid, are most often the workers in essential professions. Even as women deal with unequal wages for equal work, they are also most affected by the greater family and care burden, leading to even more unpaid and unrecognised work.
Therefore, the Commission cannot delay the adoption of the Directive on gender pay gap and upgrading its provisions on parental leave. It is imperative that this directive recognises the value of essential professions that are mostly taken by women. We must work towards equal pay for equally valuable work. Member States must also urgently adopt all measures to prevent a step back on gender equality in their countries.If schools and kindergartens continue to be closed, access to emergency childcare must be guaranteed. Member States must ensure that women will not be unfairly penalised for any delays in their return to work. Additionally, the access to reproductive health care and abortion have to be available at all times.
Moreover, lockdowns have seen an increase in reports of gender-based violence. EU legislation must be proposed to combat this and EU funds for these victims should be made available. It is more than time that the EU and all the Member States ratify and effectively implement the Istanbul Convention.
Food sovereignty and security
For many, this crisis has revealed the fragility of our food supply systems and our dependence on world markets. Clearly, real food sovereignty has yet to be achieved and our unsustainable methods of production have proven inadequate in the face of emergency.
To establish food sovereignty and security of supply, while also mitigating the biodiversity loss and climate crisis, the common agricultural policy (CAP) must immediately change course to support ecological, regional, diversified, small and medium-sized farms, move away from industrial meat production and stop funding the current agro-industrial disaster. Such a shift has the potential to create tens of thousands of new green jobs and prevent the dramatic loss of small and medium-sized farms in Europe.
Our agriculture should be made much less dependent on harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, animal welfare should be significantly improved, and the use of antibiotics reduced. Because a number of dangerous contagious diseases are related to outrageous conditions of animal markets and meat production, orienting our production towards an agro-ecological and animal-friendly will decrease the risk of future pandemic outbreak while ensuring healthy and environmentally friendly food for all Europeans.
The crisis has shown the need to relocalise certain essential production sectors of our economy, to prioritise internal and regional markets and to shorten supply chains. The EU and member states must focus on building circular economies, and on including strong environmental and social standards in the rules of international trade. Global value chains only structured to maximise profit and cost-competitiveness lead to a global race to the bottom at every level, and a fragile system.
This should not be at the expense of adequate markets for sustainable production in the Global South. In a crisis situation, the EU shall practice solidarity also with countries outside the EU
The corona crisis has also highlighted the dramatic lack of workers in the agricultural sector and the poor working and living conditions of seasonal workers in our countries. The EU must establish standards and a framework to guarantee decent and safe working and living conditions to these workers. The European Labour Authority must encourage the member States to cooperate in order to guarantee these workers an equal minimum wage, access to information, legal advice and the right to organize in a union. We must address these issues in the next CAP reform, making sure funds are granted with priority being given to small and organic farmers and that farmers and farm workers are well protected and paid at a fair level across Europe.
Finally, to further tackle the consequence of the economic crisis, measures will be needed to combat food poverty in large segments of the population and to ensure that all Europeans have access to affordable quality food.
Education and culture: access for all
To avoid further increasing the inequalities among children in Europe, Member States must put in place all the policies necessary to provide equal access to education for all students. This may mean ensuring a return to school when it is possible to do so safely or guaranteeing equal access to online tools.
At the European level, all students participating in Erasmus programmes should be supported within the framework of the emergency and their extra costs fully reimbursed. They should also be supported to make sure they do not lose their academic year, and these programmes should resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
This requires protecting artists and cultural workers and infrastructure, as well as to bring equal access to culture for all. Artists will help us to cope with the consequences of the crisis, to create new narratives that bring us together, and to imagine the world of tomorrow. European culture will contribute to our collective recovery, and thus must be given the necessary financial support
Responding to the crisis through digitalisation and new technology
The corona crisis has enhanced the major impact of digitalisation on our lives as well as the costs to bear for those without access to digital services and information. Students with unequal access to online education is a clear example of why we must strive to guarantee equal access to the internet and to close the digital divide in Europe. Specific focus should be on older people who, being vulnerable to COVID19, often lack the crucial digital skills needed in social isolation. As European Greens, we believe that access to internet is a right and we must make sure it is regarded as such.
Digitalisation of essential services must become a priority for governments and for the Commission, as this is an important factor for increasing the resilience of our societies, our digital economies and for creating jobs in the field of new technologies. At the same time, the EU must take action so that huge platforms do not monopolize these services.
The EU must do everything it can to unleash the power of innovators to develop creative solutions to the crisis while reducing the power of BIG TECH. Initiatives, such as the pan-European hackathon organised by the Commission in partnership with civil society, are a step in the right direction.
As for the use of tracing apps to collect data to track the spread of infection, we need to be very careful about the risks attached. If tracing apps are put in place by governments, they must be done in strict compliance with EU data protection rules, strictly voluntary and an exit strategy for their use must be clearly defined. Mass surveillance must not become a reality, either in Europe or elsewhere
The increased use of digital technologies will increase power demand, so it must go hand in hand with the transformation towards a less energy-consuming economy. Moreover, the necessary development of digital technologies cannot be an excuse to bypass the precautionary principle and weaken environmental legislation. We call on the European Commission and the member states to rapidly develop the European fiber optic network enabling secure access to high-speed internet for as many EU citizens as possible.
NO QUARANTINE OF DEMOCRACY AND RIGHTS
To respond to the health emergency, national governments had to put emergency measures in place. Although most countries are gradually lifting some of the restrictions, a second wave of infections would result in measures being tightened again. As European Greens, we demand that emergency measures must always be time limited, proportionate, strictly related to the health crisis and subject to regular democratic scrutiny.
While this has been the case in most EU countries, the Hungarian Government has been clearly misusing the crisis in an attempt to further weaken the already fragile rule of law in Hungary. It had declared an unlimited state of emergency and introduced a series of draconian measures either by parliamentary process or by decree – especially funneling money to oligarchs, restrictions directed towards the media, local authorities and opposition parties as well as trans* and intersex people – which are clearly not justifiable as a response to the pandemic. The announced end of the 'state of danger' is pure window-dressing, as the suspension of democracy and the rule of law continues under the new name 'health crisis'.
The Polish government has tried to benefit politically from the pandemic by changing the electoral code and bending the constitution, in order to hold presidential elections in the middle of the crisis.
We urge the Commission and the Council to condemn these attempts and demand that the General Affairs Council to move forward in order to conclude the pending Article 7 procedures against Hungary and Poland. We also demand that the Commission includes language of eligibility criteria in the MFF that would require compliance with the rule of law, fundamental rights and with anti-corruption measures in order to receive EU funds, as well as alternative options for funds distribution, i.e. to local authorities.
In other European countries, some of the emergency response measures implemented have also further resulted in discrimination and abuse of authority that the EU cannot tolerate. The role of parliaments, including the EU Parliament, has been severely limited. In the recovery phase, parliaments, civil society organizations and citizens must be returned their full democratic powers, as the measures enacted now will shape the world we will live in and cannot be taken solely at the executive level.
Freedom of movement and residence for persons in the EU must remain a cornerstone of Union citizenship. Closing borders must remain the exception and not the rule, and it should not be done in a unilateral and uncoordinated way as it was the case at the beginning of the pandemic. Instead, general stay at home measures and targeted regional health checks should be used to limit the spread of a pandemic. As the opening of borders continues, a coordinated response among member states is even more important.
Governments should not use the pandemic as a pretext to weaken social and labour rights. Whistle-blowers exposing wrongdoings and abuses related to the crisis must also be protected.
Moreover, member states and the EU should adopt measures to mitigate corruption risks and insist on and strengthen rules for the transparency of lobbying on policy choices related to the Coronavirus recovery. The enforcement of lockdowns and other measures to address the health crisis should not confer discretionary powers to the police. As European Greens, we firmly condemn cases of police brutality and denounce racism in all its forms while actively supporting anti-racist movements.
EUROPEAN LEADERSHIP FOR GLOBAL CHANGE
The corona crisis is a global crisis. No country or continent has been spared from its health and economic impacts, and no country will be able to face these consequences alone. Therefore, the measures taken in response to these consequences have to be shared globally. The EU and European countries have a responsibility to lead a cooperative multilateral response, in a context where other global powers such as the USA and China have shown a lack of goodwill. The EU global response package and vaccine research pledging conference are positive steps, which must be effectively implemented and deliver results to people in need.
The EU and European countries should lead timely and coordinated aid for countries unable to respond to devastating economic and health impacts of the crisis and support protection of human rights during response to the pandemic. The fight against poverty is crucial in the fight against Covid19, as well as other future diseases. Despite the difficult financial situation in many European Countries, they should not cut funding for development cooperation, but aim to permanently increase their contribution to 0,7% of their GDP and provide long term support to impoverished countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Additional funds must be provided in this emergency situation in order to mitigate the suffering this crisis has caused around the world.
We oppose the ban on export of medical supplies outside of the EU implemented at the beginning of the crisis. Depriving countries in need of supplies from our markets damages their ability to manage the crisis and risks catastrophic consequences. Instead, the EU should support the WHO call for equitable global access to COVID 19 health technologies and should lead efforts to guarantee worldwide availability and accessibility of any vaccine.
Furthermore, the EU and European countries shouldact to ensuredebt cancellation for impoverished countries. This could at least partially alleviate the situation and enable them to better plan for the aftermath of the crisis. This could at least partially alleviate the situation and enable them to better plan for the aftermath of the crisis.
The EU must take the lead on re-strengthening multilateralism and global governance. While acknowledging the problems resulting from public defunding of the WHO, the EU should recognise its importance and role and work towards improving this institution.It should re-launch a cooperative approach, not only for crisis management and health but also on issues such as climate justice and biodiversity, the global commons and human rights. Furthermore, as Greens we support the call for Global Ceasefire made by the UN Secretary General and a coalition of NGOs in the first months of the coronavirus outbreak. Furthermore, we call for a suspension of all arms sales and transfers to conflict parties that are not adhering to the global ceasefire.
Finally, the EU must profoundly reform its own trade policy and review its trade agreements with other countries. The aim of this reform must be to build a more resilient and sustainable trade system that contributes to justice and environmental and social progress for Europe as well as for our trading partners.
BUILDING ALLIANCES FOR A BETTER TOMORROW
To overcome this global emergency, and build a better future, we must work with local, national, European and global partners, and focus on involving citizens through truly participatory processes.
In this sense, the Conference on the Future of Europe must become a powerful tool to make the citizens protagonists for the kind of change they want to see in Europe. This crisis has shown us that the EU needs more competences on issues such as health, as well as more resources and less barriers from the veto power of the Member States. As Greens, we will continue to fight for a strong European democracy as well as to ensure that the response to this crisis is not an attempt to simply go back to business as usual, but rather a push to embrace the radical change which now appears more necessary than ever.
European Greens believe that the responses to this crisis and the tools to prevent new ones can only be built through synergies and cooperation between all the different parts of our society. This is why we will commit to opening spaces for reflection and interaction, not only among our member parties but also with actors from civil society, from the scientific, cultural and academic community, the business world, and other political families.
We can only overcome this crisis if we work together in good faith and build meaningful alliances. Only by standing together and combining our efforts will we be able to build a resilient Europe and emerge from this crisis into a better tomorrow.